I’m sure you’ve heard, for a lot of people, 2016 was absolutely brutal. In many ways it marked the end of a myriad of things. Childhood, democracy, you know, things that matter. However, my overall view of 2016 is mostly positive, and as usual, I feel like the years are flying by. My children are getting older, and I’m getting better. There was a lot to think about this year, especially on the level of mortality, right? However, in those brief moments when we weren’t lambasted by our favorite celebrities, political commentators (Gwen Ifill – still stings), or other people passing away, we were enjoying certain aspects of life that I never thought I would ever be able to.
For example, I was a guest for the first time on a talk show. You read it right. Harry Connick Jr. had me as a guest on his show this year, and it was so much fun. Not only did I get to chat it up with someone about the community garden that I started, but the entire family and I got to visit New York together for the first time. We’ve all been, but never all at the same time. I’ll explain that one later.
Speaking of the community garden, we learned a LOT this year. Like, we can no longer do a community garden, but a learning garden. We arrived at this conclusion after several stints of seeing folks wander right on to the property with trash bags to pick to their hearts content what other people planted. Instead, we’ll be fencing it off and inviting school groups and others on the property to learn tips and tricks to growing their own food in their backyards. So there will still be a community feel, just not open like I wanted it to be. Y’all I lost more tomatoes and collard greens than I’m able to admit.
Chickens. We got chickens this year, and if the community garden was a learning curve, the chickens were a freaking learning roller coaster. Harry Connick Jr. started us off with four chickens when he came to the house this year. Two of those chickens passed away a couple of months after we got them, because some well meaning passerby shut them into their coop (read why we are fencing off the garden.) We then purchased four more, and then 8 more (keeping up?) and then one more after one of those 8 were mauled by a neighborhood cat. Currently we have 7. I don’t even want to do chicken math, but it’s difficult, and I can totally see why farmers don’t get attached to their animals, because I’d be in tears at the moment. Right now, I’m just ticked that so much money has gone down the toilet, and it seems as if I’m feeding the feral cats and random chicken hawk that come through.
I was honored as a community champion by Molina Healthcare, and I was nominated by one of my Red Cross colleagues. It takes a lot for me to take accolades, but I’ve learned in 2016 to be able to do that, and believe them. I still stay humble because I have my youngest daughter Penelope to keep me there. She takes her job seriously.
I traveled. A lot. This year alone I’ve gone to Iowa, D.C., New York, New Mexico, California, North Dakota, Montana, Minnesota, Wisconsin, South Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, and I think that’s it. Next year, I of course want to add way more international flights to my list, and not just once for the year. I want to go. It’s so fun to go! I also did trips with my mother and father with my children, and it was nice to have that multi-generational trips on our dockets as well.
I got my first editors gig. I’m over on Mom 2.0 as the travel editor, and let me tell you, it’s SO refreshing to be a part of such a great group of women and doing and talking about what I love. You should definitely check the site out, and make sure to look out for my posts about the conference that will be in Orlando next year!
I joined PBS Kids VIP again, and I’m also a National Geographic Kids Insider. Both projects that I feel passionately about. I’m looking forward to attending the Shot @ Life Summit again as well. We did #HouesfulOfCookies for the second year in a row, and I only see bigger and better things for it in the new year.
I celebrated family, I celebrated friends, I celebrated me. I plan to do a LOT more of that in the new year. My hope is that you do too. Happy New Year, and may it blessed beyond comparison.